The Presidency has reacted to the comments of the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, faulting the lockdown order of the Federal Government that Nigeria is not in a “war emergency”.
It said the playwright had no specialty in medicine but may choose to write a play on the pandemic after the emergency was over.
In a statement signed on Wednesday night by Garba Shehu, a media aide to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the presidency re-emphasised that the 14-day lockdown is in the interest of Nigerians.
The president’s spokesman advised Nigerians to trust science and not fiction.
He said, “Professor Soyinka is not a medical professor. His qualifications are in English literature, and his prizes are for writing books and plays for theatres.
“Across the world…mandated lockdowns are in place to slow and defeat the spread of coronavirus.
“The Government’s primary duty in law and action is the defence of the people of Nigeria. We face a global pandemic. Nigeria is now affected. The scientific and medical guidance the world over is clear: the way to defeat the virus is to halt its spread through limitation of movement of people.
“Perhaps, Wole Soyinka may write a play on the coronavirus pandemic, after this emergency is over.
“In the meantime, we ask the people of Nigeria to trust the words of our doctors and scientists – and not fiction writers – at this time of national crisis.”
The PUNCH reports that the 14-day lockdown order of the Federal Government enters its third day on Thursday in Lagos and Abuja while Ogun State would begin its own on Friday.
Over 170 people have been infected with the virus in the country while two deaths have also been recorded, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.